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Why Is There Ice in My Air Conditioner?

Air conditioner covered with ice? That can’t be good. Normally, an air conditioning unit produces a constant flow of cool air to the home So ice on the unit might not sound too terrible. However, there are lots of serious problems caused by ice so you’ll want to take care of it right away.

You’ve probably heard of coolant, right? This is the stuff that cools the air inside an air conditioner before it’s released into your home. But when there is an issue, instead of cooling the home the unit can start to ice up causing the cooling system to malfunction. If addressed quickly enough, you can protect yourself from costly repairs, and even worse, replacement of your entire unit.


The filters on the outside of an AC unit ensure the airflow needed for the unit to function properly. If these filters become blocked, the reduced airflow can lead to ice build up and can eventually cause your unit to freeze. Clean the air filters every few months.

Evaporator Coils

Clean the coils every few months to ensure sufficient airflow over the evaporator coils. Restricted airflow, due to the collection of debris and dust, can cause the evaporator coils to drop below freezing and begin to accumulate ice.

Refrigerant Issues

The coolant in the reservoirs is built to last a lifetime because it is continuously recycled through the unit. However, leaks can occur which leads to ice buildup and freezing as the unit tries to work overtime to produce cooler air. Contact a licensed technician to inspect the unit and repair the leak.

Now that you know what can cause ice in your air conditioner, follow these immediate steps before calling a professional for help:

  1. Turn the air conditioner off.

  2. Check the filter and change or clean it.

  3. Allow the ice to melt completely.

  4. Turn system on again and see if the problem is resolved.

  5. If your unit is still not cooling, turn the system off again and contact a professional.

Uptown Heating and Cooling can help if you ever notice ice on your AC unit. We’ve been serving the Twin Cities – St. Paul area for over 100 years in all things plumbing, heating, and cooling, so you know you can count on us! Give us a call at (612) 324-1004 and don’t forget to connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.

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